COVID-19 Causes Maryland Live! To Postpone WPT
Due to COVID-19 concerns, the WPT at Maryland Live! Casino has been postponed.
COVID-19 has caused major strain on the poker industry for over a year now. When the pandemic first began, poker rooms shutdown due to the social distancing requirements needed to keep people safe. The game of poker is a social one and players share chips as well as cards, which could easily lead to spreading the virus. This year, poker gaming has been back in action as venues learn more about how to stay safe as well as more people being vaccinated. However, now that the number of positive cases are popping up across the United States, it is starting to effect upcoming events.
In Maryland, the World Poker Tour series was set to take place at Maryland Live! next month. However, concerns regarding the virus have led to the series stop being postponed.
Details of the Change
The World Poker Tour was supposed to host a series stop at the casino from September 15 to 28. The Main Event had a buy-in of $3,500 and was set to take place on September 24. In the Northeast, as well as the full US, COVID-19 is starting to rear its ugly head once again. Case counts are rising and the WPT does not feel safe hosting the event in the coming weeks due to fear of COVID spread.
A reschedule date has not been provided, but the WPT is watching how the virus is progressing and will hopefully announce new dates in the future. On Twitter, the Live! Poker Room of the Maryland casino reported the change and said they want to ensure that the series can take place safely at a later date.
Also taking to Twitter, an employee of the poker room Chris McCall, stated that players who had earned a spot for one of the WPT events via satellite would be given a refund. The card room is not closing despite, the COVID threat. They are still going to offer tournaments in September, just not the busy WPT series, which would have drawn in a much larger crowd.
There is not another land based WPT series stop on the schedule again until November, with the tour expected to travel to Florida. The status of the virus in the coming months should dictate if the WPT will decide to postpone the series stop at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino or not.
For many poker providers, the switch to online events has been the best way to continue to offer tournament action for players. For the WPT, the brand has been able to host online events and has a few lined up over the next few weeks.
The WPT World Online Championships Main Event is set to take place on August 29, at partypoker global. In September, the brand will host the WPT Borgata Online Poker Open at the partypoker US site. The downside to online gaming is that players are restricted, especially in the United States.
Online poker services are only live in New Jersey, Delaware, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. So, to offer an online event is great, but players will have to be located in these states to take part, if it is offered there, or travel to play.
Hopefully, the COVID-19 virus will start to slow down again, and we can see live poker events back on the schedule. Vaccination rates are slowly starting to increase and this could be just what is needed to slow the virus in the US and keep more people healthy instead of sick with the coronavirus.